Adelaide of Maurienne



Adelaide of Maurienne, also known as Adelaide of Savoy was born November 18, 1092 in Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne, France to Humbert II of Savoy and Gisela of Burgundy. On August 3 1115, she became the second wife of King Louis VI (Louis the Fat) with whom she had eight children. During her time as queen she was extremely politically active, more so than any other medieval French queen. They both signed most of the royal charters from this time. She was also known for providing for the Church and the pair founded Ste Pierre at Montmartre, which is north of Paris. When Louis died in 1137 she did not take herself to the nunnery as was common. Instead, she remarried in 1141. Her second husband was Matthew I of Montmorency who was the widower of Henry I’s daughter Alice Fitzroy. Adelaide and Matthew had one child. She retired to the abbey she and Louis had founded in 1153 and died on November 18. 1154 and is buried there as well.



Migration Monday Rachel Jenkins


Rachel Jenkins was born April 21, 1852 (ish some some census records vary) in Ystradgynlais, Breconshire, Wales to Rachel Davies and possibly a David Jenkins. There were multiple Davids and Rachels in the village and it is hard to determine who is who (also, in Unionize by her son Wyndam Mortimer her parents are listed as William and Sarah but that doesn’t match up to some of the legal documents). David is the signature of father on her marriage license and in the baby book for her grandson George Ivor. In about 1857 David died leaving Rachel with three children to raise and a blind mother. The dates may be off because census records indicate a fourth child was born in 1863 but we all know how that works. No matter what happened to David, Rachel Davies Jenkins was in a pinch with more mouths to feed that she could afford through her embroidery. To help solve this problem young Rachel Jenkins was sent off to work at a nearby farm as farm labor. She helped with kitchen work, tending the children and such but she also did some fieldwork. In her early teens her flinging bails of hay caught the eye of a young English man, Thomas George Mortimer, who drove cattle from Wales to the markets in London. He too came from a poor home and had started working at 10 to help support his siblings. He was interested in the young girl but he only spoke English and she only spoke Welsh but apparently they made it work. When arriving home from that particular drive Thomas learned his mother had died and deciding he had no more reason to walk back and forth with cows when he could work in Wales in the mines that’s what he did. He walked back to be near Rachel and worked in the mines. They married on February 9, 1873 in the District of Neath, County of Glamorgan Brecon in Wales. They immigrated to America and came to Pennsylvania on September 19, 1881. Their first three were born in Wales, including their son Benjamin who died at or near birth. The next six were all born in Pennsylvania, including two others who died in infancy Gomer and John. Thomas worked in the mines in Pennsylvania and found them just as difficult as the ones they left in Wales but this time with no supports and they debated on moving home. They stayed though and much of their earlier years is told in Wyndham’s introduction in his book. Including tales of Thomas not allowing his children to tease a black man whom he had invited to dinner. They later moved to Lorain, Ohio where Thomas and his sons worked in the mills which were vastly safer than the mines. Rachel died November 30, 1920 in Lorain, Ohio, never having learned to read or write.


Welsh and US census records

Marriage Licensce of Thomas and Rachel Mortimer

Babybook of George Ivor Mortimer

Unionize by Wyndham Mortimer (Though his book does not always match records)

Family history compiles by their great granddaughter Lila and gifted to me.

Ermentrude of Orléans



Ermentrude of Orléans (also known as Hirmentrude and Irmintrud) was born September 27, 823 in France. She was the daughter of Odo, Count of Orléans and Engeltrude of Fezensac. On December 13, 842 she married Charles the Bald and proceeded to have about 10 kids (some records say only 9). The marriage made her Empress of the Holy Roman Empire and Queen of West Francia (yeah we didn’t leave the Frankish queens completely yet). Other than popping out heirs her hobbies were embroidery, which she was renowned for and abbeys. Charles presented her with the Abbey of Chelles and at least four of her children entered the church though Lothar didn’t remain there. In 866 her brother William was charged with treason and was executed by her husband. She didn’t appreciate that much at left him to join a nunnery. She died October 6, 869 and is buried at Basilique Saint-Denis, Paris, France.


Ermesinde of Carcassonne



Ermesinde of Carcassonne was born about 972 in France, she was the daughter Roger I of Carcassonne. In 993 she married Ramon Borell with whom she had three children, Borrell Ramon (who died as a child), Berenguer Ramon and Estefania, also known as Adelaide. She was politically active through her husband’s life, where she presided over tribunals and assemblies and dealt with finances and when he died in 1018 she became regent for their son. Berenguer Ramon I died a in 1035 and she became regent again for her grandson. During her lifetime they were often at war with the Muslims in Iberia, her son wasn’t big on warring but mom sure was since their presence and her son’s attempts at peace irritated the nobles. She was also the driving force behind Pope Victor II excommunicating grandson Ramon Berenguer I and Almodis de la Marche (yeah remember them). She continued as regent until 1044 when she was declared too old. She died March 1, 1058 in Cataluna, Spain and is buried at Cathedral of Saint Mary of Girona


Migration Monday Anna Brecht Frey

For today’s inaugural Migrant Monday post I will be introducing Anna Marie Brecht Frey. She was born August 15, 1856 in Rinboussia, Germany. She immigrated to the United States with her parents, Mathias and Barbara Halt Brecht (though prior spellings had it as Briet and a few other variants) in May of 1872 and settled in Pittsburgh where she married John Jacob Frey who had come here at the same time. Anna had America, she spent her life longing to return to her home. The couple had nine children. She died in her son, Nicholas Jame’s in law’s home in South Heights, Pennsylvania on May 29, 1926 having outlived John by about a decade.

Luitgarde of Vermandois

Luitgarde of Vermandois was born about 914 to Herbert II of Vermandois and Adele, daughter of Robert I of France. She was countess of Vermandois and later became duchess consort of Normandy. Her first husband, William I of Normandy (William Longsword) died without them having any children, it was a short-lived event lasting only from 940 to 942. She later married Theobald I of Blois in 943 and had four children with him, Theobald, Hugh, Odo and Emma. She died February 9, 978.




Bertrade de Montfort , Queen Consort of the Franks


Bertrade de Montfort , Queen Consort of the Franks was born around 1070 to Simon I de Montfort and Agnes, Countess of Evreux. Her parents died while she was a teen and she was left to the guardianship of her older brother, Amaury. She was married to Fulk IV, Count of Anjou also known as Fulk le Réchin, about 1089 (she was his fifth known wife, he like to repudiate his wives) and they had a son together, Fulk, Count of Anjou and King of Jerusalem. With Fulk having a nickname that seems to indicate he was a bit of a jerk and with contemporary chronicler, John of Marmoutier claimed, “The lecherous Fulk then fell passionately in love with the sister of Amaury de Montfort, whom no good man ever praised save for her beauty.”1 This sounds like a “bad boy” fell in love with a “bad girl” which is probably right since in 1092 she ran off or was “kidnapped” by King Philip I of France. The pair married on May 15, 1092 much to the chagrin of their spouses. Bertrade didn’t see it as a big deal and expected Philip and Fulk to be friends. Philip repudiated Bertha claiming that she got too fat and locked her up in the fortress of Montreuil sur Mer. Neither Hugh of Die nor Pope Urban II agreed and the pair was excommunicated. In 1095 and poor Philip wasn’t allowed to run off and join the First Crusade. Philip and Betrade had three children, Philip, Fleury and Cecile.

Bertrade made the annals of another chronicler, this time, Orderic Vitalis, who claimed that she was so concerned with making sure one of her sons succeeded Philip that she wrote to Henry I of England to have Philip’s oldest son, Louis, arrested. (Some claimed she was behind the death of his son Geoffroy on May 19, 1106 from a ‘friendly fire’ arrow.) He also claimed she used witchcraft and poison against her stepson but to no avail, he succeeded his father in 1108. Betrade lived on and according to William of Malmesbury, a 12th Century historian and monk “Bertrade, still young and beautiful, took the veil at Fontevraud Abbey, always charming to men, pleasing to God, and like an angel.”, 1 Not sure about witchcraft and joining a convent a few years later but stranger things have happened. She died February 14, 1117.

Sources 1,_Count_of_Anjou

Marguerite de Sablé



Marguerite de Sablé was born abou 1179 in France to Robert de Sable and Clémence de Mayenne. She was the eldest of three children, only two of which survived to adulthood. Her brother, Robert, died as a child and her younger sister was Phillipa. Her father was a Grand Master of the Knights Templar and died in the Holy Land on September 23, 1193. At this point Marguerite had been married for two years to William des Roches, Seneschal of Anjou, a knight in the Third Crusade, she was second wife. Her father’s death made the young couple extrememly wealthy and William a very powerful man. The pair had three children, Robert who died young as his uncle before him, Jeanne and Clemence. William died on July 15, 1222.

She supported the two abbeys that her father founded. In 1200 she lands to the abbey at Perray aux Nonnains which her uncle added to. And in 1209 they had the abbey at Perray-Nauf moved to closer to Sable. In 1227 she donated to the nuns at the Abbey at Bonlieu to pray for the souls of her departed family. In 1235 she supported the monks at the Church of St. Nicholas of Sable.

Marguerite died in 1238 (around the same time as their daughter Jeanne) and is buried in Perray-aux-Nonnains, France while her heart is buried with William at the Abbey at Bonlieu.


Jeanne, Dame de Chateaudun


Jeanne, Dame de Chateaudun was born around 1227 in France. Her father was Geoffrey VI, Viscount de Chateaudun and her mother was Clémence des Roches. She married Jean I de Montfort in March of 1248 and the pair had a daughter, Beatrice. Jean died during the Seventh Crusade in 1249 while in Cyrpus. She married again, this time to Jean de Brienne, Grand Butler of France and son of the King of Jersuluam and Emperor of Constantinople in 1251. She had her second daughter with her new husband, Blanche. In 1265 she attained the additional title of Dame de Chateau-du-Loir. She eventually passed on her title of Loupeland to Blanche. It is unknown when she died.